From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health

January 02, 2018

Making sustainable changes in the new year

Kristen Ziesmer, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
Apex Athletic Performance
New year's resolutions are upon us and instead of following the latest fad diet or workout that you’ll be over in a month’s time, try something different. This year, why not  make one single change each week that is realistic and one you can stick with? This seems, perhaps, too simple, but the results can be massive! By making small, realistic and sustainable changes you can lose double, even triple the amount of weight than you would with some 30-day challenge. How, you ask? Because you’ll stick with it!
How do I start?
Starting this approach is easy! Follow these steps for one week (weekdays and weekends, too.)
  1. Keep track of your diet  the good, the bad and the ugly. You can either write it all down or use a nutrition tracker like My Fitness Pal or Lose It. For many people this is all they need, but for others, it’s just plain eye opening. You’ll easily be able to see where you are eating too much or not eating the right types of foods.
  2. Keep track of your activity. Again, you can use plain old pen and paper or an activity trackers. You can spend the extra money on a FitBit, but if you download the My Fitness Pal app, your phone will double as a pedometer! There is also a space to log your exercise.
  3. Keep track of your fluid intake. This includes water, juices, coffee/tea, alcohol, etc. Once again, My Fitness Pal has a space for this.
  4. Keep track of your sleep habits - what time are you going to bed and waking up? How many hours of sleep per night are you getting?
What do I do with this info?
Now take a look at all of this information you tracked and see where you think you can make some changes. No one knows your diet, activity and life better than you do!
  • Have you noticed that you binge eat when you get home from work when you’re starving? Then have a small snack before leaving work to curb your hunger!
  • Did you notice that you drink more alcohol than you thought? Give yourself a weekly drink limit!
  • Not drinking much water? Give yourself a daily goal that is one more glass or bottle over what you are drinking and increase from there.
If you still aren’t sure what to change, compare what you’re doing to these recommendations:
  • Diet
    • 5 cups fruits & veggies per day,
    • >50% grains from whole grains
    • 5.5-9 oz protein per day
    • 2-3 cups low-fat dairy per day
    • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are just satisfied
    • Work with a registered dietitian to determine your individual caloric and macronutrient goals
  • Exercise
    • 2.5 hours moderate aerobic activity per week
    • OR
    • 1.25 hours vigorous aerobic activity per week
    • AND
    • > 2 days/week resistance training
  • Fluid Intake
    • Drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces of plain water per day
    • Coffee/tea/caffeinated drinks: limit to 2 per day
    • Sugar drinks, juices, etc.- limit as much as possible
    • Alcohol: 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men
  • Sleep
    • 7-9 hours/night of uninterrupted sleep (preferably)

Learn More

Serving Columbia and Lexington, Apex Athletic Performance has a comprehensive and scientific approach to athletic training and exercise, which includes nutritional assessments. For more information, visit their website or call 803-296-9202.